This cruise on the Basinsgtoke has been sponsored by the Basingstoke Canal Society in conjunction with Byfleet Boat Club and the Local (Guildford and Reading) branch of the IWA.

It is the first cruise over the entire length of the canal since 2006 following a successful cruise by four boats from Byfleet Boat Club (Leo No2, Hazell Nut, Aqua Vitae and Winter Lilly) to Brookwood village between Christmas and New Year 2012.

The main aim is to navigate to the limit of the navigation but there are three options available as follows:

1) Cruise to the Bridge Barn hotel in Woking and return
2) Cruise to Brookwood Country Park and return
3) Cruise to King John's Castle (Odiham) and return

Application form available here

Currently the boat numbers are:

Woking - 2
Brookwood Country Park - 7
Odiham/King John's Castle - 32

If the title of a post is in bold characters you can click the title to see a PDF version of the information.

Locking Program

A PDF version of the Locking Schedule is available by clicking on the title - 'Locking Program'

We have done our best to match the locking program to your preferences but if we have got it very wrong please E-Mail Basingstoke.easter at and we'll do our best to accomodate your preference.

Please be at the appointed place by 09:00 and ready to go.  Please do listen to the Basingstoke Canal Authority Ranger and follow instructions, additionally we will have volunteers assisting the BCA with locking procedures, they will be wearing dayglo jackets - please treat them as you would a Basingstoke Canal Authority Ranger.

If you particularly want to lock with a friend it is your responsibility to get yourself into the right place at the right time without inconveniencing others. You may wish to consider locking with someone you don't know and get to know them!

The Locking Program (Updated 27-March-2013 @ 21:52)

Thursday 28-March-2013 Woodham (09:00 start)

Aqua Vitae, Barley TwistHazell Nut, Lavinia Mary, Leo No2, Nancy Bell, Nexus No2, Orion's Wey, Rowan, Stronghold, Summerfly, ThatWey, Winging It, Yum Sing, Zavala (15)

Friday 29-March-2013 Woodham (09:00 start)

Captiva, Cherie, Dragon Tail, Elf *, Ernest, Fevre Dream *, Galatea, George, Herbie X, Indigo Dream, Lily RoseMerlin's Wey, Paddington, Paper Moon, Penkenna, Somnalis, Sud Caravelle, Tranq'uille *, Tristan III *, Vega II, Wattoo Wattoo, Zodiak (22)
- Could lock as 'one' boat - LOA is 55 and 60 feet
2.4m wide

St Johns (09:00 start)

Aqua Vitae, Barley Twist, Finch, Lavinia Mary, Leo No2,  Nancy Bell, Nexus No2, Orion's Wey, Rowan, Stronghold, ThatWey, Winging It, Winter Lilly, Yum Sing, Zavala (16)

Saturday  30-March-2013 St Johns (09:00 start)

Captiva, Cherie, Dragon Tail, Elf, Ernest, Fevre Dream, Galatea, George, Hazell Nut, Indigo Dream, Lily Rose, Merlin's Wey, Paddington, Paper Moon, Penkenna, Somnalis, Sud CaravelleTristan III, Vega II, Wattoo Wattoo, Zodiak (20)

Brookwood and Deepcut (09:00 start)

Aqua Vitae, Barley Twist, Finch, Lavinia Mary, Leo No2,  Nancy Bell, Nexus No2, Orion's Wey, Rowan, Stronghold, ThatWey, Winging It, Winter Lilly, Yum Sing, Zavala (16)

Sunday 31-March-2013 Brookwood and Deepcut (09:00 start)

Cherie, Dragon Tail, Ernest, Galatea, George, Hazell Nut, Indigo Dream, Lily Rose, Merlin's Wey, Paddington, Penkenna, Somnalis, Vega II, Wattoo Wattoo, Zavala, Zodiak (16)

St Johns (down) (10:30 start at Lock 6)

Captiva, Elf, Fevre Dream, Paper Moon, Sud Caravelle, Summerfly, Tristan III (7)

Monday 01-April-2013 Woodham (Down) (10:30 start)

Captiva, Elf, Fevre Dream, Herbie X, Paper Moon, Spring Willow, Sud Caravelle, Summerfly,  Tranq'uille, Tristan III (10)

Friday 05-April-2013 Deepcut and Brookwood (09:00 start)

Aqua Vitae, Barley Twist, Finch, Lavinia Mary, Leo No2,  Nancy Bell, Nexus No2, Orion's Wey, Rowan, Stronghold, ThatWey, Winging It, Winter Lilly, Yum Sing, Zavala (16)

Saturday 06-April-2013 Deepcut and Brookwood (09:00 start)

C'est La Vie II, Cherie, Dragon Tail, Ernest, Galatea, George, Hazell Nut, Indigo Dream, Lily Rose, Merlin's Wey,  Paddington, Penkenna, Somnalis, Vega II, Wattoo Wattoo, Zavala, Zodiak (18)

St Johns and Woodham (09:00 start)

Aqua Vitae, Barley Twist, Finch *, Lavinia Mary, Leo No2,  Nancy Bell, Nexus No2, Orion's Wey,  Rowan, Stronghold, ThatWey, Winging It, Winter Lilly *, Yum Sing, Zavala (16)
- St Johns only

Sunday 07-April-2013 St Johns and Woodham (09:00 start)

C'est La Vie II, Cherie, Dragon Tail, Ernest, Galatea, George, Hazell Nut, Indigo Dream, Lily Rose, Merlin's Wey, Paddington, Penkenna, Somnalis, Vega II, Wattoo Wattoo, Zodiak (18)

Just a week to go

Just a week to go and the first boats will be making their way up Woodham.  The Thames is on red boards at the moment - see this link. Being the eternal optimist I am hoping that the river will subside by this time next week although I expect it will come up again over the weekend judging by the forecast.  If you are coming up the river from Teddington and you have not had an E-Mail from me please let me know and I'll put you in touch with the others who are coming.  The Wey has been on red boards (it is open at the moment and does subside quickly) but I suspect that only applies to those boats coming off the Thames. However for safety's sake here is a link to the River Wey conditions website.

There are no planned events at Bridge Barn other than I am sure you will frequent the pub when you are moored there.  I have had a number of calls asking about the festival that is being held at Bridge Barn but I am afraid there isn't one.  Please also remember that if you wish to book a table at Bridge Barn it is up to you to book it as it is for any other pub we happen to moor close enough to to enjoy.

Also a reminder that there is an 'open house' for all those participating at Byfleet Boat Club (Parvis Bridge) on Wednesday 27-March.  Do join us if you can.

For anyone who needs petrol (rather than diesel) there is a service station adjacent to Lock 12. It is the first of the Brookwood 3 which you will tackle on either Saturday 30-March or Sunday 31-March depending on which day you left Woodham Junction.

If you are using the Thames and you are delayed I don't believe there will be an opportunity to catch up but you may wish to enquire of the Basingstoke Canal Authority on (01252) 370073.

Hydrocottle AKA Floating Pennywort

Floating Pennywort
We have been asked (maybe even instructed) by the BCA that all boats ascending the St Johns flight of locks must inspect their weedhatches for the presence of Hydrocottle (also known as Floating Pennywort).  On the Basingstoke we know it is present below the St Johns flight of locks; the BCA are doing all they can to rid the canal of this awful weed. There is, to the best of everyone's knowledge, none of it in or above St Johns so on behalf of the BCA we are insisting that you check your weedhatches for any evidence of this weed and take all action necessary to remove it.

Good news on the Lock 13 front - all the machinery to undertake this work is now stored opposite my house so work seems to be going to commence on Monday 18-March.

If you have any questions about the cruise please let me know.

Update 20-March - Lock 13 gates are in - there's a bit of adjustment to carry out and some new balance beams to fit to the lower gates - I think the BCA are pulling out all the stops to get everything done in time for us.  We should raise a glass in their honour over the period of the trip and if you have the opportunity to make them a tea or coffee or supply a bacon butty I am sure they would welcome it.

BCA and their Volunteers

We had a meeting this afternoon with the Basingstoke Canal Authority and I am pleased to confirm that all their engineering work is on schedule for completion well in time for our cruise despite the very wintry weather we have been experiencing.

Whilst the BCA Rangers will have volunteers assisting them they are not there to 'lock wheel' for you but will help if requested.  We do expect you, single or multi handed, to carry out as much of your own lock work as possible.  The locks, based on the experience of our trip to Brookwood Village between Christmas and New Year, are 'easy' to operate (having had all the jackheads replaced recently) so please enjoy using the locks and only call for assistance if you really need it.

Wednesday 27-March Byfleet Boat Club

Queueing at Lock 1
Basingstoke Canal - August 2010
On Wednesday 27-March it is intended to open Byfleet Boat Club for a social evening prior to the first group of boats going up the Woodham flight of locks.  

We are doing this for a number of reasons:
  • It is very difficult to get alongside between Woodham Junction and Lock 1 and therefore secure your boat overnight.
  • It is not an ideal place to spend an evening
  • It is Easter school holidays
  • For those of you with television the signal is non-existant
So please join us at Byfleet Boat Club (only 15 minutes from Lock 1) on the Wednesday evening for an enjoyable time and a chance to get to know your fellow boaters.

Basingstoke Evening at Byfleet Boat Club

We are holding a 'Basingstoke' evening on the usual Byfleet Boat Club social evening on Friday 15-March at 19:30.

Roger Cansdale from the Basingstoke Canal Society is going to tell us about the 'Basingstoke Canal - Heroes and Villains' which will be a lighthearted look at the history of the canal.  Philip Riley, Canal Society Chairman, Canal Manager Fiona Shipp, James Taylor from Surrey County Council and Phil Allen from Hampshire County Council and the Canal Society Sales Stand will also be present.

Byfleet Boat Club would welcome your attendance at this event as our guests - our address is The Boat House, 4 Old Parvis Road, Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6LE - see this link for a map - further details on the Byfleet Boat Club website.

Bridge Barn and Hunter's Lodge Pubs

I am not intending to make any block bookings of tables in these two pubs (Bridge Barn is in Woking - end of first day) and Hunter's Lodge is in Brookwood (end of second day). It really does become, based on past experience, a huge task in its own right.

If you wish to make your own arrangements please do so - details as follows:

Bridge Barn Hotel Woking - (01483) 763642 
Hunter's Lodge Brookwood - (01483) 474602